When I was asked to write about grief, I immediately thought the Holy Spirit is tripping!  I’m not prepared to talk about grief.  I mean I loss my dad about a year ago.  The loss was sudden, and the initial blow was painful.  I’m also not even sure I process grief in a way I can articulate properly. Yeah, Christians grieve too! My relationship with my dad was unique. We were one another’s champion and agitator.  There was no one on this earth that could quite master the ability of being both my sting and my salve like my dad. He had been through so much, and I watched him fight every battle in his life with vigor and tenacity assured of one thing, That NOTHING could separate him from the love of CHRIST.   I literally remember thinking when I got the news, WHAT NOW? Who am I going to talk to? As the tears began to flow and the gaping ache in my chest begin to thrum, I just couldn’t imagine that my dad was really gone. I was in a state of groaning.  It was as if my soul let out a wolf’s howl. You don’t initially reflect in this phase because the pain is so cutting and unbearable that you are just a drone. God was about to show me that He was the one who was always my sting and my salve.

Salve: an ointment used to promote healing and protection. 

Despite the pain of loss, God is an incredible source of comfort, help and love for the wounded soul. One of the greatest benefits of my loss and yes, I said benefit. Was the ability to grow closer to God.   I mean He left me no choice really.  I felt completely abandoned.  My whole family was looking to me to make decisions as if I wasn’t dealing with this loss too.  I had little comfort from individuals I thought were close friends, (STING)  to be fair though, let’s face it no one knows what to say in these situations or what to do.  Do you see God moving? Stay with me.

I couldn’t even pray. (STING) That is when God revealed to me that I was going to lose even more (STING).  He guided me with some faithful friends that took the time to pray for and with me.  True to the faithfulness of God he led my spirit to seek out individuals that could pour into me when I was feeling empty. (SALVE)

It injected hope and new life into me.  Just like a siren’s call the Holy Spirit activated in me and gave me an assignment smack in the middle of my grief.  He reminded me of his word that we have heard recited at every memorial service possibly.  “We do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope” (SALVE) Remember that what now question I had earlier?  That who am I supposed to talk to?  Well God answered me.  It was the most unconventional set of directions.  God is amazing like that, he doesn’t do things just any kind of way, he’s always extraordinary.

WHAT NOW?  Well, I was supposed to be a godly example in this time.  Who am I going to talk to?  I was going to be a voice to “the rest” of them.  1Thessalonians 4:13 makes a clear distinction between the saved and the unsaved.  We the brethren (brothers and sisters) are the ‘sonship’ we have been redeemed and God’s work should be evident in our lives.  That being the case, I was challenged to walk circumspectly in my grief and mind my temper, manners, and character through my grief.

This challenge was not just for me or for God to be unusually cruel.  This was given to me because “the rest” (which I once was) (Eph. 2:3; 2:12-13) is given hope because of Christ when we walk out our faith.  How will they be given hope if I don’t make the distinction as God’s word has directed me to?  I’m not trying to be churchy people or gassing you up in some way.  This literally happened and I finally understood what 1 Thessalonians 4:13 meant. Talk about God’s strength being made perfect in weakness. (SALVE)

This became pivotal for me.  It highlighted for me so much. Titus 3:3-7 gives us the foundation for Christians living among outsiders i.e., “the rest”.    I was given an amazing opportunity through my grief to feel the groan of loss but to relate it to a much deeper call.  It’s more appropriate to reserve my groaning for people to go to hell.  My dad was alright.  He had the blessing of being saved, but there would be some in my atmosphere that would not have made that choice.  I was chosen to make a distinction between faith and unbelief, life, and death, hope and hopelessness, light, and darkness. Rock and sand.   There is no middle ground.  I will fortunately see my dad again.  It is my burden to make the distinction for the unsaved so that they can accept the hope that is in Christ Jesus for themselves.  Groaning through grief for the Christian always leads to worship.  The path may look different for all of us but know sisters that The Lord always intends to use our grief for HIS GLORY!

~Emily Moore